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Departmental Staff (Powers Of Entry)

Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Bournemouth East, Official Report,25 October, column 272, whether he has any further statement to make; and if he will describe the training that is given to officers in his Department and in public bodies ultimately answerable to him, who have powers of search and entry, with regard to surveillance techniques and methods of gaining entry into premises.

Following a comprehensive review of the powers available to officials within the Department of Industry I now confirm that there are powers to enter premises under the Industrial Development Act 1966 and the Industry Act 1972 to ascertain whether the conditions of grant are being complied with, and a power to enter land for the purposes of survey in connection with compulsory purchase is given in the Local Employment Act 1972.These powers are exercised only after notice has been given to those affected and training for the use of surveillance techniques and methods of gaining entry does not arise.The Post Office Act 1969 also provides for entry on land for surveying purposes and for entry to premises for determining contravention of licensing of distribution systems. Questions of training are matters for the Post Office.